The physics of doped Mott insulators remains controversial after decades of active research, hindered by the interplay among competing orders and fluctuations. It is thus highly desired to distinguish the intrinsic characters of the Mott-metal crossover from those of other origins. Here we investigate the evolution of electronic structure and dynamics of the hole-doped pseudospin-1/2 Mott insulator Sr2IrO4. The effective hole doping is achieved by replacing Ir with Rh atoms, with the chemical potential immediately jumping to or near the top of the lower Hubbard band. The doped iridates exhibit multiple iconic low-energy features previously observed in doped cuprates—pseudogaps, Fermi arcs and marginal-Fermi-liquid-like electronic scattering rates. We suggest these signatures are most likely an integral part of the material’s proximity to the Mott state, rather than from many of the most claimed mechanisms, including preformed electron pairing, quantum criticality or density-wave formation.

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Published in Nature Communications, v. 7, article no. 11367, p. 1-7.

© The Author(s) 2017

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D.S.D. acknowledges support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) under Award # DE-FG0203ER4606. G.C. acknowledges support by NSF via grant DMR 1265162. M.A.H. was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) under Award # DE-FG02-10ER46686.

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Supplementary Information: Supplementary Figures 1-4, Supplementary Notes 1-7 and Supplementary References